by J.L. Martello

Wesley Center AMEZ Church in the Hill District held its annual Men’s Day service recently. This year’s event was a little different from the others when Pastor Glenn G. Grayson Sr. put his son, Glenn G. Grayson Jr., in charge of this year’s event.

STILL A SUCCESS—Even though the church goal was 100 men and only 60 attended the service, organizers said it was still a great turnout because they made changes in so many lives of the men who did attend.

“I went to my father and told him, a vision was given to me that I want to carry out,” Grayson Jr. said. “That vision was to get 100 Black men into the church for the men’s day service. With the lack of unity I see us deteriorating as a people with killings, single parent families, drugs and criminal activities. We will continue to struggle as a community, let alone a people, so we have to unite to better ourselves.”

The church’s theme this year was “2010, 100 Men: Men in Movement of God.”

“I am very passionate about creating a positive outlook of Black men to better our community and strengthen our faith in addition to our image as Black men in the community, and as well as improving unity among Black men.” Grayson Jr., said.

Leading the way at the beginning of the service was a march of all the men into the church. They filled a section of the church from front to the back, filling the pews from one side to the other. Their ages ranged from a few months old to those in their 80s.

Black men came from all over the city to take part in the event. “I attended this year’s Men’s Day event first and foremost because I like to praise the Lord, as well as I think there is not enough of representation of Black men that come together at the same place and the same time to praise the Lord,” K. Chase Patterson said. “It’s my belief that Black men have always had an important leadership role in the church but have fallen off over the years. Black women have always been the glue that held the church together and Black men use their support to move the church forward as Black men and Black women are indestructibly bound in the Black Church, you cannot have one without the other.”

There were approximately 60 men who attended. From the powerful opening prayer by Rev. George Monroe, to the choir’s moving selections and uplifting solos by Rose Locker and Brother Robert Johnson, to the emotional sermon “Test to Testimony” by Rev. Grayson Sr., it was hard for anyone to walk out of the church not uplifted and full of glory.

As Rev. Grayson Sr. said in his sermon, “God isn’t punishing you when you have to go through some things you may not want to go through. He won’t put you through anything he doesn’t feel you can’t endure and it is called a test. After we overcome we have the testimony and it makes us stronger so we can help others that are going through some things they will go through in life.”

“This is an event to encourage more Black men to attend church services, to see other Black men in their community in church trying to better themselves and their community and encourage them to go the way of the Lord instead of the way of the streets that cause us to be losing the family structure of the Black family in our communities,” said Grayson Jr.

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